Taught Programme

To enable truly innovative interdisciplinary PhD projects, Graphene NOWNANO starts with a six-month taught programme of lectures and projects. These cover a wide range of topics including fundamental and applied materials physics, chemistry, engineering, technology (nanofabrication, self-assembly, device manufacturing), characterisation (spectroscopic techniques, microscopy) and applications from device engineering to nanomedicine.

The programme consists of lecture courses, extended 12-week laboratory projects, and enquiry-based learning projects. The taught programme is delivered almost entirely at the University of Manchester by Manchester and Lancaster academics, apart from one or two lab projects based at Lancaster University.

The emphasis is on team work, with the projects typically done in small groups of mixed-subject backgrounds. So as a physicist, you can expect to work with a chemist, an engineer and a biologist or vice versa.

Lecture courses

There are three core courses which all students cover during the programme. Alongside these core modules the students also choose one option module to study.

What our students say

Harry Waring

(2016 cohort)
“The taught section of the scheme is an extremely useful opportunity to learn about aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology that I had not yet gained familiarity. This has benefited me immensely by helping inform my choice of PhD project along with demonstrating the remarkable breadth and potential of this field and where a future career in it may lead.”

Enquiry Based Learning

Enquiry based learning projects are student-led reviews exploring a specific topic, conducted in groups of four. These in-depth studies offer the opportunity to delve into the literature and develop an original piece of work designed to gain a deeper understanding of the subject and encourage critical literature review skills. Students will complete two projects during the programme, with the opportunity to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

More detailed information and current topics can be found in the student handbook.

Extended lab projects

Extended lab projects lasting 12 weeks give the opportunity to explore the more experiemental side of a variety of topics. Each of the projects is designed to be self-contained, allowing the students to make significant contributions to the research group. As with any research project, there will be many opportunities for students to put forward original ideas and help influence the direction of the research. During the programme the students will complete two group lab projects. The currently available projects are:

  • Studying Graphene Plasmonics with THz Quantum Cascade Lasers
  • Creating Domain Walls in Magnetic Nanowires

  • Investigating the interactions of cells with 2D materials using confocal Raman imaging and bioassays

  • Synthesis and Characterisation of Carbon nanomaterials

  • Nanomechanical Properties of Graphene and 2D Nanostructures

  • Molecular permeation through 2D materials based membranes

  • Atomic Force Microscopy for Imaging Biological Samples

  • Applications of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials in Energy Storage Devices

  • Fabrication and characterisation of graphene transparent conducting films

  • Graphene/2D-material based field-effect devices and optoelectronics

  • Influence of substrate on physical properties of various 2D materials

  • Optical properties and mapping of exfoliated 2D materials

Detailed information about these lab projects can be found in the student handbook.

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